When We Die 

 September 21, 2022

By  QJ

'When We Die' is a piece for contemplation. 
I used to produce records which were BIG in terms of production. Lots of sound, lots of notes. 
But that was then. Now I like to keep it simple (and it still sometimes runs away from me). 
'When We Die' started life as a languorous sequence of specially selected chords on the piano. And before I could finish it, the Queen (Elizabeth the second) went and died. 
This isn't a eulogy for her, it's a contemplation of sadness and acceptance. 
Please share with me how it makes you feel when you listen to it (comment below). 
Thank you.

This is the music...

And this is the background to the music... 

  • It’s a great piece and (as you say) the opening voice parts are slightly shocking. I like the sounds of the ‘real’ piano and it’s interesting to note that some of the high end digital pianos are imitating the instrumental resonance and sympathetic string resonance of the acoustic instruments. I’m less keen on the voice sound sample which to my ear is uneven. Though I like the way you’ve panned it around the image. I imagine it’s a sampled sound which sounds strained the further away it gets from its original sampled pitch. Perhaps it’s just my ears which have spent too many years working with children composing using sampled sound sets in Garage Band and Mixcraft. I think the best vox sound sets cost a lot of dosh though.

    • Thanks for the compliment, Matthew. I take onboard your opinion of the voice sound sample, and you’re absolutely right when you say it’s uneven: I kinda like that about it! Coming back into the digital domain for writing and production (I stopped recording in earnest back in the ’90s) I’m still wowed by the ubiquitous availability of ‘every sample under the sun’, and love playing with these samples to see what’s possible. As an ‘old school’ engineer, I perfected the art of mic placement and acoustic environment, which sadly is no longer a pre-requisite of recording success, but love innovation and ‘new’ ways of working. So to me, any sample that I like the sound of, could end up in one of my compositions. In fact, I would go further and say, ‘I’ll only use sounds that I like’. (I do love the real sound of voices too – of course).

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    Hi I'm QJ - a composer of music and sonic art.
    For decades, I've worked as a musician, a sound engineer and a record producer, owned two recording studios and a professional symphony orchestra.
    I've produced artists for major labels from the analogue to the digital age.
    I like to learn from others, and I like to support young talent.
    When you play my recorded music on this website, please leave a comment to say how it made you feel.
    Thank you.

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